Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A measure of code elaboration for written language

  • 52 Accesses

  • 3 Citations


A multidemensional measure of code elaboration for written sentences is proposed and applied in a research setting. The rationale for such a measure is presented from Bernstein's conception of code elaboration and from the various techniques or grammatical viewpoints which serve as a basis for a large body of research on code elaboration. The methodological grounds for construing written sentences as sufficiently similar to spoken language for the construction of a meaningful index of elaboration for written sentences are developed. The approach involves an adaptation of immediate constituent analysis. A description of the index formation for aspects of elaboration is provided, and the interrelationship among the indicators is presented. The measurement strategy developed may be applicable in the reanalysis and utilization of all forms of written sentences from sociological research whenever the methodological stipulations outlined can be met.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bernstein, B. (1958). Some sociological determinants of perception: An inquiry into subcultural differences.Brit. J. Sociol. 9:154–174.

  2. Bernstein, B. (1960). Language and social class.Brit. J. Sociol. 11:271–276.

  3. Bernstein, B. (1962). Social class, linguistic codes and grammatical elements.Language and Speech 5:31–46.

  4. Bernstein, B. (1966). Elaborate and restricted codes: An outline.Sociol. Inquiry 36:126–133.

  5. Bernstein, B. (1970). A sociolinguistic approach to socialization: with some references to educability. In Williams, F. (ed.),Language and Poverty: Perspectives on a Theme, Markham, Chicago.

  6. Bernstein, B. (1971).Class, Codes and Control, Vol. I, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

  7. Bernstein, B. and Henderson, D. (1969). Social class differences in the relevance of language to socialization.Sociology 13:1–20.

  8. Bolinger, D. (1968).Aspects of Language, harcourt, New York.

  9. Calonico, J. M. (1971). Role-taking in an interpersonal behavior system: The primary group. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Washington State University.

  10. Chomsky, N. (1965).Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

  11. Gleason, H. A., (1961).An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics, Holt, New York.

  12. Gleason, H. A. (1965).Linguistics and English Grammar, Holt, New York.

  13. Hess, R. D., and Shipman, V. C. (1965). Early experience and the socialization of cognitive modes in children.Child Develop. 36:869–886.

  14. Kuhn, M. H., and McPartland, T. S. (1954). An empirical investigation of self attitudes.Am. Sociol. Rev. 26:68–76.

  15. Lawton, D. (1968).Social Class, Language and Education, Schocken Books, New York.

  16. Nash, J. E. (1971). Social structure, language and self concept. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Washington State University.

  17. Nash, J. E., Thomas, D. I., and Wiegart, A. J. (1973). Code elaboration and self concept states.J. Soc. Psychol. 90:45–51.

  18. Poole, M. E., and Field, T. W. (1971). Social class and code elaboration in oral communication.J. Speech Hearing Res. 14:421–427.

  19. Robinson W. P., and Rackstraw, S. J. (1972).A Question of Answers, Vol. I, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

  20. Spitzer, S. P., Stratton, J. R., Fitzgerald, J. D., and Mach, B. K. (1966). The self concept: Test equivalence and perceived validity.Soc. Quart. 7:265–280.

  21. Stageberg, N. (1965).An Introduction to English Grammar, Holt, New York.

  22. Warshay, D. W. (1971). Sex differences in language style. In Safilios-Rothschild, C. (ed.),The Sociology of Women, Ginn-Blaisdell, Waltham, Mass.

  23. Williams, F. and Naremore, R. C. (1969). Social class differences in children's syntactic performance: A quantitative analysis of field study data.J. Speech Hearing Res. 12:778–793.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nash, J.E., Calonico, J.M. A measure of code elaboration for written language. J Psycholinguist Res 2, 343–353 (1973).

Download citation


  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Large Body
  • Research Setting
  • Measurement Strategy
  • Sociological Research